LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday following emergency surgery to remove pressure on his left leg that will keep him hospitalized until the middle of next week. He is expected to be out for at least six weeks.
Ellis initially stayed in Friday night's game against the St. Louis Cardinals after being taken out of a double play by a hard -- but, by all accounts, clean -- slide by the Cardinals' Tyler Greene in the seventh inning. Ellis finished that inning, then led off the bottom half, but was removed at the start of the eighth and sent for X-rays, which were negative, and Ellis said after the game he was fine.
But by the time Ellis arrived at the ballpark on Saturday, he was in extreme discomfort and had noticeable swelling in the lower leg.
"He was sent to the hospital, and testing showed elevated pressure in several compartments of the lower leg," Dodgers trainer Sue Falsone said. "There was trauma to the area where everything kind of swells up, so you have to open up the fascia and basically release that pressure. They will keep an eye on it and most likely close that wound up on Tuesday."
Only after the wound is closed will Ellis be allowed to leave the hospital, and his leg then must completely heal from the surgery before he is even allowed to engage in any strenuous activity, much less baseball activity.
To fill Ellis' roster spot, the Dodgers recalled infielder Ivan De Jesus from Triple-A Albuquerque, where he was hitting .275 with a .328 OBP. That means every infielder on the Dodgers 40-man roster is now either in the majors or on the major league disabled list, a fact that probably saved struggling shortstop Dee Gordon from a minor league option.
As it is, Gordon, who is mired in a 2-for-31 slump with 10 strikeouts, is going to ride the bench for the next few days. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly cited the fact the Dodgers are facing two lefties during their upcoming series in Arizona, which probably was an indication the left-handed-hitting Gordon won't return to the starting lineup until at least Friday.
"I think it's going to be a few days, really," Mattingly said. "This will give Dee a chance to calm down a little bit. I watched video of his swing last night, and really, there is no difference from when he was rolling last year to right now. It is more about what he is feeling than what is going on with his swing. I think that is where the pressure comes from."
Asked whether Gordon would have gone to Triple-A to get playing time and at-bats if not for the Ellis injury, Mattingly didn't confirm or deny.
"We talked about a number of options with Dee," Mattingly said. "What we want for Dee is what is best for him, what is best for the team and what is best for his future. Everything is on the table."
That means things could get interesting when infielder Jerry Hairston (left hamstring) becomes eligible to come off the 15-day DL on Tuesday. Hairston says he is feeling great and is scheduled to play either in minor league games or in extended spring training for two days next week, possibly Monday and Tuesday with his return pushed to Wednesday.
At that point, the Dodgers could simply option De Jesus back to Albuquerque or option Gordon there so that he can get regular playing time. The Dodgers were planning to take their time with Aaron Miles, the veteran infielder they signed last week to a minor league deal, by sending him first to extended spring training and then to Triple-A Albuquerque, but that process also could be expedited.